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Debswana First Division North committee hits back

Publishing Date : 18 December, 2018


The internal squabbles within the football governing body, Botswana Football Association (BFA) is far from over. The association is deeply divided by factional wars as some who are in positions of influence are aligned to the current president Macklin Letshwiti while others are aligned to the former leader, Tebogo Sebego.

Suspended Debswana First Division North Committee which is believed to be aligned to Sebego called a press conference on Wednesday in Francistown in an attempt to clear their names.  The seven committee members were slapped with indefinite suspensions on allegations that they have embezzled P168 000 belonging to the association for their own personal benefit. The suspended Chairman, Mpezeni Sambandawe has vehemently denied the allegations levelled against them.

“The allegations that we misappropriated the association’s funds are unfounded, malicious and they are intended to tarnish our good names,” Sambandawe charged. He mentioned that they are deeply disturbed by reports circulating on the media and other social media platforms indicating that they have stolen money intended to run the league. The outspoken Sambandawe highlighted that the misinformation is orchestrated by people who are interested in peddling lies and are hell bent in discrediting the suspended committee members for political expediency.

According to Sambandawe, to the best of their knowledge the association wrote to them sometime in October seeking clarification on certain financial transactions in relation to the running of the league. “The committee responded swiftly and produced a report backed by statements and information from various key stakeholders to address some of the concerns raised by the association in relation to the aforementioned transactions. Surprisingly while the committee was still waiting for a response from the association some of its members were slapped with suspension letters that effected on November 1,” he explained.

Interestingly, Sambandawe said those who were roped in on interim basis lost elections during the elective annual general assembly in August and they enjoyed the support of some leaders within the association. He reiterated that the suspensions were done in bad faith or out of pure malice adding that they have now sort the services of a legal advisor to clear their names. He threatened that they might approach courts of law to seek redress.

“We failed to account for some of the funds disbursed to us because some regions such as Selebi Phikwe and Palapye among others failed to produce financial reports on how they used the money. We have learnt that they did so after they got instructions from someone holding a higher position at the BFA secretariat,” Sambandawe averred.

Suspended Secretary General, Rapula Gaothobogwe indicated that they had a P50 000 debt at the beginning of the 2016/17 season which they managed to clear. Gaothobogwe held that it is surprising that they are accused of stealing money whilst they managed to run the league smoothly and paying referees well on time. He maintained that their suspension is politically motivated as they are perceived to belong to a certain faction within BFA.



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